A bruised and naked 10-year-old boy in China was found sleeping in the back of a tricycle in freezing cold weather to avoid a beating from his parents.
Initially, the man who found the boy believed there was a chicken hiding under the thin canvas, reports the Daily Mail.
But closer inspection revealed the beaten boy, which had multiple whip lashes.
"The boy is hurt from top to bottom!" said one person at the scene. "He has to stay in a hospital."
Onlookers gave the boy clothes before calling the police in San Qiao, Guiyang of Guizhou Province.
A local woman says she recalled seeing the 10-year-old with his mother the night before. She said his mother was wearing a wool jacket while the child was naked.
When reporters confronted the boy's father, he admitted to "punishing" the child.
"He is naughty and we punished him," he said before hanging up the phone.
Police officers gave the family a verbal warning before releasing the child back to them.
News of the incident provoked widespread outrage.
"There are people without empathy in all countries, my mother did similar things to us, but hid it better," wrote one person in the Daily Mail's comments section.
"They gave him back?" wondered another. "Are they bloody mad???"
It's not the first time in recent weeks a child has been found in the freezing cold, reports the Mirror.
In December 2017, a British truck driver found a toddler, aged around 2 or 3, walking on his own near a busy street in Northampton at 1 a.m. while carrying his own shoes.
"At first I didn’t know what it was," said the trucker. "I saw something but didn’t think anything of it."
"It was only when I went to move into the second lane and got closer that I realized what it was," he continued. "I thought to myself: 'Oh my God, that’s a child.' I put my hazards on and pulled over -- I think my [truck] frightened him as he started walking towards the island near the slip road."
The truck driver, also a father to a 1-year-old, immediately rushed out of his vehicle to tend to the child.
"He cried when I picked him up, he was freezing cold, bless him," he said.
"I was asking him where his mummy and daddy were and whether he lived in the houses near the road," he added. "He just replied in baby talk, so I couldn’t really tell."
The driver called the police, who were also shocked the child was out on his own.
"When I told the police they kept asking me to repeat what I was saying as I don’t think they could believe it was a child," he said.